In Melbourne Australia in 1912, a heavily pregnant Mary Olive Goulding was rushed to the doctor’s in a Goulding sidecar fixed to a 1911 Harley Davidson. Dorothy, or Dot as she became known, entered the world and into one the great motorcycling families of the 20th century. Her father James, an English immigrant, owned a motorcycle dealership and built the world famous Goulding sidecars. Is it no wonder Dot went on to become on the most influential women in the motorcycling world.
Dot’s involvement with motorcycles saw her learn to ride at a very early age and winning her first trophy in Michigan in 1934, after her father had moved their sidecar manufacturing business to the USA by 1923. During the 1930s Dot won or placed in over 50 motorcycle endurance events. All this, competing against men as the women’s class did not emerge until sometime in the 1960’s.
A young man named Earl wandered into James Goulding’s Harley dealership to buy some oil for his J Model. While there he set eyes on Dot and the rest as they say is history. Earl hung around until James gave him a job as a mechanic. By 1931 Earl and Dot were married and running the dealership.
The pair had a chance meeting with Arthur Davidson (co-founder of Harley Davidson) which resulted in them being offered both the rights and funds to buy the HD dealership portion of James’ business, enabling James to concentrate on his favoured side car enterprise.
In 1936 the HD dealership was moved from Saginaw to Detroit increasing the business to the point where it was one of the top selling Harley Dealerships for many years. During the period Dot won the Jack Pine Endurance Race several times including several other 500 mile distance races around the country.
Dot co-founded the Motor Maids of America and sat as president for some 25 years. They sold their Harley Dealership in 1972. Between 1928 and 1990, Dot put over one million miles on Harley Davidson motorcycles. In 1998 Dot was inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame. She continued to ride until the age of 85, passing in October of 1987.
Find out more about this amazing woman -
I’m not sure what inspires anybody to pioneer – those of us who follow their dreams against the odds are among the people who I look up to most.
G.W.Gibson - Queen of Speed
It’s not easy being a girl in an all-male world. Penny McIntyre has to fight every day to hold her place on the race track. Her lifelong dream of sponsorship is realised when she is offered the chance to ride as part of a Justin Byrne’s 600cc motorcycle team. At long last her dreams are in reach.
Ride Safely, Write with Passion